Welcome to the Nishma Insight Discussion Forum blog.


The NISHMA INSIGHT is our popular dvar Torah, distributed almost every week by e-mail, that touches upon an important concept in the Parsha, theme in a holiday or event in contemporary society.

Often, readers respond, via e-mail, with comments that initiate a further dialogue. Through this Discussion Forum, we now wish to open this dialogue to others. If you have a comment on the INSIGHT, we invite you place to your comments here; then we invite everyone to join the discussion.

(If you are not receiving the NISHMA INSIGHT, we invite you join our mailing/e-mail list through completing our sign-up form available at our website.)

Friday, August 10, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #40: THE NATURE OF THE ETHICAL

For Re'eh
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, August 3, 2018

Insight 5778-39: THE MOTIVATION OF TORAH

For Eikev
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, July 27, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #38: STRIVING FOR WISDOM

For V'etchanan
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, July 20, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #37: CRITICISM AND CONFLICT

For Devarim and Tisha B'Av
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, July 13, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #36: JUSTICE MUST ALSO BE SEEN TO BE DONE

For Mattot
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, July 6, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #35: MOAB AND MIDIAN

For Pinchus
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, June 29, 2018

Insight 5778-34: BLESSINGS AND CURSES

For Balak
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, June 22, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #33: THE PARADOX OF TORAH

For Chukat
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, May 25, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #32: THE DIALECTIC OF RELIGION

For Naso
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, May 18, 2018

Insight 5778-31: The Triumph of Caring

For Shavuot
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, May 11, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #30: FREEDOM AND STRUCTURE

For Behar
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, May 4, 2018

Insight 5778-29: SANCTIFYING GOD AND SANCTIFYING SELF

For Emor
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, April 27, 2018

Insight 5778-28: Systems of Justice

For Kedoshim
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, April 20, 2018

Insight 5778-27, The Paradox of the Omer

For Emor, Omer
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, April 13, 2018

INSIGHT 5778 - #26: THE TENSION OF PSAK

For Shemini
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Insight 5778-25: THE MIRACLE AT YUM SUF

For Pesach and Beshalach
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website



My final message in the Insight would seem to actually supported by the fact that the opening verses in the Shira refer to God's Might against the Egyptians. This, I find, most significant in that the nation itself experienced their own miraculous salvation, passing through the Sea in a most tranquil way. This is really supported in the midrashic literature in that the land was dry and level and there were fruit trees growing from the water so that the people could enjoy a delicious fruit as they traveled. Yet, describing their own experience was not how they began the Shira for the greater reality of God's Existence is that He fills all aspects of Creation. As He saved the Jewish nation in such tranquility, He dealt with the Egyptians as they deserved, with the wrath of His Might -- and even, as the midrash explains, each Egyptian as individually deserving. That recognition of reality really brought forth shira.

RBH

Friday, March 23, 2018

Insight 5778-24: The Bystander

For Tzav
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, March 9, 2018

Insight 5778-23: THE KEHUNA WITHIN ISRAEL

For Vayahkel - Pekudei
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Insight 5778-22: Purim

For Purim
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website


I just wish to clarify my point. The challenge we face in confronting the human condition demands depth as life is complex. A presentation of 'Stick figures' in attempting to explain the challenge human beings face in confronting the issue of good and evil -- and its internal conflict within each of us -- is, as such, misleading. What I am describing in the case of Haman, though, is the existence of the individual who strives to be but a 'stick figure' as this person wishes to avoid the actual complexity of the human condition. I am not using the 'stick figure' to describe the concept of good versus evil. What I am describing is the possible evil of an individual striving to be but only a 'stick figure. 
RBH

Friday, February 23, 2018

Insight 5778-21: FORMAL AND INFORMAL

For Tetzaveh
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, February 9, 2018

Insight 5778-20: God and Ethics

For Mishpatim
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, February 2, 2018

Insight 5778-19: THE NAME

For Yitro
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website



The idea that tefilla [prayer] should include a bekasha [request] also, in my opinion, reflects the thought expressed in the Insight. Many people find it difficult to accept that a prayer should include a request from God for they see it as approaching God because it is in one's best interest. They, as such, like to see prayer simply in terms of praising God or thanking Him. From a bekasha, though, one really sees God as instrumental in one's life and the fact that one can approach God in this manner obviously reflects close relationship. If someone is close to you, obviously, that person wants to assist you. As such, tefilla should incorporate shevach [praise], bekasha and hoda'ah [thankfulness] for it is in the meshing of these three that we reflect the uniqueness of our relationship with Him.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Insight 5778-18: FURTHER ON A NATIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

For Beshalach
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, January 19, 2018

Insight 5778-17: A NATIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

For Bo
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, January 12, 2018

Insight 5778-16: ABOVE THE RULES OF NATURE

For Va'era
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website

Friday, January 5, 2018

Insight 5778-15: THE SERVANT OF GOD

For Shemot
 
Not yet available on the Nishma website


This understanding of the relationship between God and humanity is also significant in the discussion of the relationship between a rebbi [teacher] and talmid [student] or other designation of follower. There are those who wish to maintain that a student must always follow the position of a teacher; the latter's will must always be subservient to the will of the teacher. There are others, though, who maintain that the actual sign of a good rebbi is one who can raise a talmid to have a proper will of his/her own and thus is able to make decisions independent and even in conflict with the teacher. Independence of will is obviously the issue. While the independence of a prophet's will that the Insight argues must be an element of prophecy does not, of course, in any way imply a conflict with the Divine, in human terms such an expression of independence could result in a conflict between rebbi and talmid and so the existence of this particular issue in regard to the relationship of teacher and student. In regard to prophecy and, in fact, all aspects of the Divine-human connection, the existence of the Divine Will and the independent human will can, though, paradoxically co-exist. This is the very essence of Torah. This argument in regard to the rebbi-talmid relationship is simply a reflection that such co-existence must also paradoxically co-exist in this case. It is just more difficult in the human case.